In addition to this thoughtful read, Global Chat will hear some snark on silly hotbar icons, pontificate about poor MMO names, deliver The Repopulation first impressions, and invite you to participate in a grand MUD experiment. Let's get going!
I'll echo what Bhagpuss is saying in this article: Project: Gorgon has some surprisingly strong word-of-mouth for an alpha title, and yet almost everyone bags on the (admittedly rotten) name. Was there a brain fart when it came to titling this game? Whatever the case, it needs to be changed, ASAP!
"It includes the word 'Project,' for a start. That makes it sound experimental and unfinished. It's only two words long and yet there's a colon in there, which makes it awkward to say out loud (you have to drop in an uncomfortable, half-beat pause) and even more awkward to abbreviate," Bhagpuss comments. "It's also the kind of name that sounds as though it might mean something, yet nothing I've been able to find on the website or while playing the game offers any clue as to what that something might be."
Tough Love Critic: The gold standard (why loot sucks in Guild Wars 2 and ways to fix it)
Have you ever felt as though the way that Guild Wars 2 handles its economy is a bit off but you couldn't quite articulate why? Tacktix has spent a lot of time thinking and analyzing the problem, which he discusses along with proposed solutions.
"The loot system of Guild Wars 2 is so abysmal because of the decision to attach nearly everything to the gold standard. Everything can be turned into gold, and acquiring what you want is just a matter of getting the needed gold and going to the trading post. This is a direct consequence of the maxim 'play how you want,'" he writes.
Jeromai is conducting an experiment to see why a new player checking out a MUD might quit by putting out a call for folks to check out Realms of Despair and journal the moment if and when the player leaves. If you could help him out, I know he'd be very grateful, and it might illuminate to the industry why MUDs have a difficult time attracting fresh blood.
"What we really need are fresh perspectives and new eyes to take a quick gander around and simulate a newbie (even better if you have zero MUD experience) and then share with us the point at which you might quit," Jeromai asks.
Thalen Speaks: What's that ability?
We often take the ridiculousness of many MMO skill icons in stride; in fact, we hardly think about them at all unless someone calls our attention to them. When that happens, there's only one thing to do: joke about what you think the artists were trying to go for when whipping these up. It's a pasttime that I've engaged in myself, and Thalen does the same in regard to EverQuest II's indecipherable icons.
"I know I was curious and confused by many of the icons, so as a public service I will interpret the many skills here shown," he says.
Now that The Repopulation has both started its early access program and dropped its NDA, curious players are poking their heads into this sci-fi sandbox to see if it's got the whole package. J3w3l spent a fair amount of time in the game and comes back with a decidedly mixed impression.
"That all does seem like a pretty negative recount of what is a predictably rather unpolished early access experience, yet weirdly I'm actually enjoying it quite a bit," she says. "I love the open nature of the experience and just doing what I want or whatever I kind of fall into."
How to Murder Time: The appreciation of scale
Tim's observations and notes about his first few weeks in Elite: Dangerous are both informative and amusing (of the system STUEMEAE BC-D C12-4612, he quips, "Reminds me of a Windows 95 activation key I used to date"). Probably the most interesting point he makes is that Elite may never feel like an MMO due to the vast territory it offers.
"All this immensity means that really the game doesn't need an open play mode at all, because once I get about 25 jumps out from the starting system, I'll likely never see another player again," Tim writes.
Awesome MMO blog opinions abound all over the internet -- and Justin "Syp" Olivetti reads them all (or skims really, really fast)! Global Chat seeks to round up the most interesting and zany posts from the MMORPG blogosphere. Who knows? You might discover a new favorite blog this week!